Current mandatory cool proposal expected to become law

CANADA - The US based National Pork Producers Council expects the current proposal for mandatory Country of Origin Labelling (COOL) to move forward and be passed into law, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 10 August 2007
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Despite considerable opposition, a revised version of mandatory Country of Origin Labelling legislation is scheduled to come into effect in the US in September 2008.

The revised proposal is finding acceptance in the US, but Canadian cattle and pork producers fear the provision could act as a non tariff trade barrier and are urging the Canadian government to oppose the provision based on NAFTA and WTO agreements.

NPPC vice president of public policy Kirk Ferrell says U.S. pork producers remain opposed to the provision but it's no longer a matter of if the legislation will proceed but when so all that is left is to reduce the negative impact of the bill.

Kirk Ferrell - National Pork Producers Council

The primary issue here was the born, raised and slaughtered issue.

Now under this agreement only animals, in this case beef and pork or hogs and cattle, that are born, raised and slaughtered here in the United States will get that United States Country of Origin label.

Those animals, like Canadian feeder pigs, coming into this country, 20, 30, 40 pounds coming into this country and then being finished off in this country, their label will, be a multi-country of origin label.

It will probably read product of the United States and Canada on the pig side.

We didn't win on the born, raised and slaughtered issue but my take, this fix will most likely minimize the sorting costs and the cost that the packing industry and processing industry will face having to comply with this.

Ferrell expects the current fix to move forward and be signed into law as part of the final 2007 US farm bill.

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